Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho cancelled his press conferenceReuters

Chelsea host Manchester City at Stamford bridge in what is being touted as the most important game of the season in the title race.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 5:30pm GMT. Live coverage of the game will be available on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.

Overview

Chelsea are currently at the top of the league table, five points clear of reigning champions Manchester City, who come to Stamford Bridge to hand the Blues their first league defeat at home. A win here for Jose Mourinho's men will ostensibly close the title race, with City unlikely to come back yet again to close an eight point gap at the top.

The Blues have been in imperious form so far only for a momentary blip against Bradford City in the fourth round of the FA Cup, where they squandered a two goal lead to lose 4-2 against a side plying their trade two leagues below them. Mourinho was visibly depressed by the result and branded the loss as a disgrace in which he had made nine changes from their semi-final clash against Liverpool in the first leg of the Capital One Cup at Anfield.

The Blues banished any talk of a meltdown with a well deserved 1-0 win over Liverpool in extra time of the final leg at the Bridge and made their way to the finals of the League Cup, where they will face Tottenham Hotspur in Wembley.

However, injuries to Branislav Ivanovic, Felipe Luis and Cesc Fabregas were the major talking points in an otherwise brilliant night for the team from London. Diego Costa is also waiting for a verdict after the FA charged him for stamping on Emre Can in the game for which he is facing a three match retrospective ban.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have failed to cope with the loss of Yaya Toure to the African Cup of Nations and have failed to win a single game since then, losing to Arsenal and Middlesbrough while drawing against Everton in their last three games.

Manuel Pellegrini's men had gone on a trip to Abu Dhabi in the week leading to the FA Cup, something which came under a lot of criticism from the media and pundits alike. However,the Chilean, who is facing what is ostensibly the toughest phase in his career as the Manchester City manager, insisted that their loss to the Championship club had nothing to do with their travels.

A loss here for City will be fatal in the title race, especially with Champions League action on the horizon against Barcelona and a plethora of league fixtures lined up. Sergio Aguero is expected to start yet again despite of question marks over his fitness while Vincent Kompany is set to marshal the defence.

Aguero
Sergio Agueri is not yet at his very bestGetty

What managers say

Manuel Pellegrini: "The game we play at Stamford Bridge is a very important game. We must close the gap to two points. It's very important to win the next game against Chelsea. I hope we are going to recover and play the way we have been playing so far. I think Yaya is a very important player, but I never have excuses. We play other games without Yaya and can win also. I never have excuses with one or two players why we don't win."

Betting odds (By 888Sport)

  • Chelsea Win: 20/19
  • Draw: 5/2
  • Manchester City Win: 11/4

Team guide

Chelsea

  • Last five (all competitions): W W D L W
  • Last result: Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool

Manchester City

  • Last five (all competitions): W D L W L
  • Last result: Manchester City 1-2 Middlesbrough

Team news

Chelsea

Possible XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Drogba.

Manchester City

Possible XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Fernandinho, Fernando; Silva, Lampard, Navas; Aguero